The Negligent Games

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29 February 2012

My friend Caitlin is coming to visit/co-parent with me this weekend and she made me promise (using a lot of capital letters and exclamation points in her emails) to read The Hunger Games before she got here so that we might discuss the heady literature. So while Sebastian was crying it out for 63 enjoyable minutes last night and Simon was sleeping three minutes into the joyful, I started reading Suzanne Collins' wildly popular book. I normally hate fantasy fiction but I hate to say and admit that I am totally and completely engrossed in the fantasy fiction that is Peeta and Katniss (those names will forever have me scratching my temple ... though).

So while the house is obviously immaculate and I am obviously dressed for the day in my elephant skin lycra, Julia is still throwing intermittent baba missing tantrums and Sebastian just wants me to look at him for 34 seconds -- I am reading and neglecting even my most basic motherly duties.  I even accidentally microwaved and served two ice cubes to a confused Julia for her lunch instead of her usual nuggets while trying to multitask and just read! one! more! electronic! page!  

So whoever said that stay at home moms have it easy -- bonbons and no responsibility style -- was totally right. Just until the end of this book.

Or are there more? I don't even want to know.

ps now these posts formerly known as: super confusing will all make perfect sense

click around

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28 February 2012

this post is sponsored by Skin and Bones

For your browsing pleasure today ... some virtual excitement via the following clickables ...

Katie is having unbelievable luck at the thrift stores in Kansas City. Holy jealous.

I really want to go to this in March ... maybe next year the stars will align in my want want want favor.

I won the best giveaway ever ... from the most talented craftess ever ever. A zillion exclamation points.

Cari is killing it over at Catholic Exchange. She even had Simon audibly laughing at this hysterical post. Do I smell the next Simcha?

Ann posted a handy roundup of different lipstick shades. Maybe one day I'll be a brave heart and dare to wear one.

I wonder if I have any formal and semi-fashionable and acceptable dresses for this cause. Probably not. 

Welcome to my new favorite food blog. I know it's Lent but I'm very tempted to make this cookie dough dip out of chickpeas (!)

And last but not even a little bit least ... read about Jessica's really brave big trek out to the National Institute of Health.

cont'd from the title ... click, click

torture monger

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Just in case you were wondering what level of pleasant I'm enjoying this fine morn, we have entered the 'baba-free zone' beginning with today's wake up. It's obviously going really well.  Of course she isn't having any knock off imposters and after 110 minutes of her waging world wars III, IV and V on me ... I'm about to relent and give her a chill pill (her fave: tropical fruit flavored antacid).

I've also begun to let (make?) Sebastian cry (scream) it out (for a separate wordy post to come - fear not) so I should probably rename this power blog 'Camp Mean' or 'Camp Fun' ... either one would be painfully fitting.

feeder and feedee

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27 February 2012

I'm hoping that Sebastian sleeps through the night after his filling dinner care of Julia.

Blueberry Flax Seed Muffin in a Mug

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Are my professional photog skills showing? I thought so. 

I had been seeing those calorie and sugar laden delicious looking cake in a mug recipes all over Pinterest and blogs and so, in a fit of hungry spontaneity, I decided to give one a whirl one night while Simon was out playing basketball -- undoubtedly burning calories and sugar. I don't know where exactly I went wrong but it was not edible -- which is quite a feat because my buds rarely discriminate.

Then, I saw a recipe for Flax Seed pizza crust on a blog (I won't link to it because I care about you too much to let you wander down that vommy path). I was intrigued and made the mistake of making. It was even less edible than the cake disaster. Simon agreed. I thought I could/would never bake with Flax again but this cobbled together recipe and the microwave changed my mind.

This isn't the most decadent or creative concoction on the www but it is a filling, healthy, tasty, easy, and super fast breakfast, snack, lunch, skimpy dinner, or boring dessert. 

Just mix everything together in the mug (the oil isn't picky -- it can be coconut, canola, vegetable -- just maybe melt the coconut oil for a few seconds prior to adding) thoroughly, pop in the microwave for one whole minute, wait several seconds so that it might cool, and eat. If you use frozen blueberries -- crank the time up to a whopping one minute and thirty seconds. 


three out of one million

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26 February 2012

While we were waiting (and waiting and waiting) for Simon to return home from work this evening ... I dragged the offspring outside to try to capture a sibling framer. I was obviously wildly successful.

We did manage to snap a mediocre Senior portrait.

And I wonder why our next door neighbors of nine months have yet to make eye contact with this house mouse and her docile meece.

guilt and regression

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25 February 2012

1. guilt
2. regression
3. obviously

Welcome to life with the funions whilst Simon works an interminable shift.
Never not a real treat.
I hope you can hear my smile from there.

*a note on their outfits,
Sebastian rocking the chalk.
Julia rocking the matching modest (her pick -- not mine).


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23 February 2012

A few days ago the weather was warm enough to pass my leave-the-house-by-foot test so Simon and I took the kiddos to the park. Julia loves strangers so we assumed she would be thrilled by the throngs of stranger children adorning the monster playground. And we assumed wrong. Fancy that.

As illustrated below ... over the course of about a 14 minute span (14 years in toddler time) ...

She refused to unearth her planted feet nor would she peel her staring eyes away from the nonfamilymember aliens despite our 'please act normal -- go play -- okay get out of that nice lady's way -- she wants to cross the footbridge you are blockguarding' commands of encouragement.

She eventually caved and performed a slight pivot ...

and was thrilled with the 'go down the slide by yourself! It will be SO much fun!' session

Time will tell but she just might take after her weirdo mother and be a scarily introverted little soul. Or maybe we just need to expose her to more than her immediate family 24/7.

We'll see .... in a few months ... when we venture out of the cabin again.

*regarding the number of photos we took at the park (published and unpublished) ... I agree with your deserving judgment ... we are ridiculous parents.

Simon Says

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22 February 2012

While giving Julia step by step instructions on how to change Sebastian's putrid diaper, Simon said, 
"let's practice saying,  'bowel movement' " 

On a particularly moody day on the part of Sebastian, a perplexed Simon said, 
"I think he might be expecting a visit from Aunt Flo."

In response to my inquiry as to why the dining room smelled so rotten, Simon defensively said, 
"what you're smelling is the memory of the five nasty diapers I changed today."

While watching Lord Grantham's sister's maid get caught 'in the act' on Downton Abbey, Simon said, 

Two nights in a row Simon came home from work and greeted me with,
 "why are you in a good mood? It's weird."

 and Simon voluntarily did this ...
a touching hand heart accompanied by a forehead kiss.


Surviving Two Under Two

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21 February 2012

Now that Julia is a whopping (and mature) 17 months and Sebastian is approaching his 4 month birthday, I consider myself somewhat of an absolute expert on weathering the storm that is two nonverbal children. Currently, we've just returned from daily Mass (on foot of course), my house is sparkling, all three of us are dressed for the day, we've all enjoyed fortifying breakfasts whilst smiling our widest, and a complete dinner is simmering in the crockpot ... salad, glasses of ice water and all ... and it is merely 10:29 in the am. Just another typical day in the perfectly managed life. 

And then reality happened. And of course, none of that actually ever happens. I'm not an expert on anything, especially child rearing, dinner cooking, house cleaning, (twice for good measure) house cleaning, or smiling. But I'm also not going completely crazy every day (although I have a feeling Simon's incoming text messages might beg to differ if you go snooping around for any proof flavored pudding) anymore. I like to pretend that we've hit some sort of manageable stride thanks to these unsolicited and unhelpful tips I'm about to throw your way. This is an incomplete list and is truly only (obviously) applicable to me (now that Sebastian is not a newborn) but if you feel the need to add better tactics, please do.

1. Know that greater parents have gone before you. I know I'm not special. Wrangling two kids under the age of two is absolutely laughable compared to what many others deal with every day. Multiples, three under two, three under three, four under four, two under one, two under two while working from home, two under two with a husband overseas, home schooling four under four with a husband overseas, etc. Two under two is a complete joke compared to a myriad of other potential situations so stop feeling sorry for yourself. Okay, you can feel sorry for yourself for five quick minutes if both kids are crying, need diaper changes and you are crying.
But only for five minutes and then you need to pull it together.

2. Shower every other day. No, I didn't type, 'get dressed every day' -- just shower. You can put your sweats and holey cardigan right back on but at least you'll feel clean and your hair won't be a grease mop. Dry shampoo/baby powder/topknots don't work for me and if I don't shower and wash my hair I look like I haven't showered and washed my hair. No one ever sees me other than the tyrants and Simon but .... there is definitely a brighter twinkle in Simon's eye if he's noticed that I've showered. Most definitely (I sense my sarcasm isn't coming across the screen like I'd like it to - I doubt he notices but I pretend that he does -- and that he appreciates my toil in the hygiene department). I get the kids to their temporary happy places (Netflix -- highchair and Bumbo) and take a very short shower every other day. More than half the time I'll turn off the shower/blessed noise muffler and one of them will be screaming and I have to scramble back into my uniform and my hair won't get brushed for hours (plural) but at least once it dries it won't be begging for it's mothership: bacon and a frying pan.

3. Exercise every day. Yes. Every day! Nothing crazy. Or crazy, that's fine too. It is my absolute priority that after breakfast and before morning meltdowns, I march downstairs to our teeeeny tiny TV and elevate my heart rate for a few minutes. I don't venture outside when the temperature is below 54 degrees because I am a realist and it would take longer to bundle up the needlings than our power walk would actually last and I loathe the cold so I usually turn to my DVD friends. I used to try to sneak my workout in during Julia's nap but she has dropped her morning nap (thank you, worst nightmare ever) so I just do it while she whines and rubs her snotty face and grubby hands all over my toning-in-progress bod. I aim for 40 minutes but am happy with 10 which leads me to numero four-o.

4. Lower your expectations.  And then lower them again. And again. See the following exhibits: 
a. I used to be able to sew almost every day when it was 'just Julia'. But now, I think I've been able to sit down at the sewing machine approximately 3.5 times since Sebastian has been born. And I don't expect that that will be changing anytime soon. Machine's loss.
b. Julia is far too old to be so attached to her bottle of diluted almond milk. Oh well! It's what keeps the peace for now and I'm not going to pick a war in order to wean her into normal toddlerdom.  Not yet.
c. I often think up (or dream up thanks to Pinterest) elaborate dinners that I will surely have time to prep and serve as Simon is walking in at night but when 5:00 rolls around and Julia is clinging to my kneecap and Sebastian is chewing on my clavicle, the dinner has been forgotten ... which is okay and I try not to curse over unpoured milk. Which leads unnaturally into number five.

5. Try to make dinner every night. Just try! You'll be surprised how quickly and easily those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dill spears come together and how three minutes of sitting at the table together 'as a family' before one of the piglets voices his/her emergent needs will make you feel a slight semblance of sane at the end of the day. And if you're able to get fancy with cornflake crusted chicken and a tossed salad -- I will bow down. Hats off. Applause. Encore, encore. You get the photograph here.

6. Don't go out in public. What? So extreme. Truth. Sebastian is a very good baby that will sit in his car seat and not complain for a long period of time. I don't know where he came from. I could probably handle a few trips to Target every now and again. But Julia is not a good baby in public (for me! for Simon she is an angel, of course) and I refuse to set myself up for misery just to go to the grocery store on a Tuesday morning. We get our grocery shopping done at night or on the weekends and if I manage to leave the house with both kids I am always headed for a soft landing like the hospital to see Simon or a fellow mother's house.

7. Email people. I don't know what I would do without the internet which is completely and utterly pathetic. I know! But I've met and reconnected with some hilarious and helpful people via the w-cubed. I don't think I would've been able to let Julia cry it out without emailing out my own cries of help and receiving prompt and lifesaving responses. Or how I would've felt less guilty about poisoning Sebastian with formula without the solidarity of others doing the unthinkable same. Or how I would know what Jessica thinks of the (awful, in my opinion) high-low dress trend?!

8. Know how blessed and lucky you are. I won't step onto my 'fertility is a gift!' soapbox but know that there are so many women that would kill to be in your shoes. Kill. While I know 99% of my posts tend to swirl around complaints about the piglets, I'm mostly kidding. I know how blessed we are to have have two healthy and mostly happy children. Very, very blessed. Which reminds me ...

9. Enjoy your kids. 
I know there are whole blogs and books dedicated to this novel concept and this might come easily to many. But I tend to try and 'get things done' when Julia is happiest in the corner chasing a piece of lint and Sebastian is content to sit and stare at nothing in the Bumbo. I've found that if I actually interact with Julia when she's in a good mood and take the time to play with Sebastian when he isn't fussy then I'm more likely to be less annoyed and a smidgen more patient when they do flip into need/whine/grunt/blown out diaper mode.
 Which also reminds me ...

10. Switch from nose to mouth breathing when changing disgusting diapers. Especially when you have days that the dirties tend to explode back to back to back to back.

Lets end here, even though we all know I could type on about other obvious tactics like actual productive prayer and actual unproductive binge drinking/eating/wall staring for years. I will stress again that this is not a complete list. I am not a successful veteran. I only cry every third day in the face of my life with two non-talkers which is a great success compared to the darker days of life with two non-walkers.

You're welcome, as always.

another night

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20 February 2012

another unschedued c-section, temporarily orphaning Simon's family of serial photoboothers. These selfish pregnant ladies need to stop cramping my fancy tuna melt dinner plans style. Don't let my smile fool you. Sebastian's expression plus one clenched jaw and two muttered expletives probably more accurately describe my exact sentiment for the situation.

Also, Julia's mullet (not pictured) is magically back in full force so we might need to look into a little hair transplant for poor Sebastian's cue ball nog (pictured).

And typing of cues, mine to go just arrived. I just lazily asked Julia to retrieve a diaper which she did ... from the trashcan ... in all its used and saturated glory.

At least I have a two million minute Downton Abbey finale waiting to help ease my laughable pain. Please know, in a spirit of fanaticism and solidarity I styled my hair similar to that of Lady Mary's usual do (not fully pictured).

"kids need boundaries"

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19 February 2012

Simon declared during dinner as he wheeled Julia into the kitchen at her new eating perch facing the wall after she did something (grunt? whine? I forget exactly) warranting negative attention.

So as soon as Sebastian let out a little cry, I went ahead and put him in his rightful spot next to Julia because I would imagine that babies need boundaries, too.

Chia Seed Smoothie

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I wake up, throw everything in the blender with slit eyes and dragon breath ... put the blender in the refrigerator so that the seeds can gel. Retrieve, change, and feed a crying/whining Julia and (if applicable) Sebastian. Make sure Julia is momentarily content, pull the blender out and then actually blend. You might want to ease up on the seed amount as 1/4 cup of gelled seeds can get pretty thick pretty fast. Simon keeps hinting at maybe trying a fruity version ... but I'm sticking with my peanut butter for now. I'll let you know if I decide to stretch my wings and fly fruity anytime soon.

This recipe was posted with Cari in mind especially, as she seems to be in the market for such a goodie.

You're welcome, Mrs. Donaldson.

7 Quick Takes: Chia Seed Ed.

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17 February 2012

Joining Jen via Hallie for another round of Quick Takes this morn. Today's subject victim is Chia Seed. Get Excited.

1. This is the fourth morning in a row that I've voluntarily forgone my two cups of coffee for a Chia seed smoothie. I'm sure it is merely the power of suggestion but I feel ~1/2 as peppy as the Energizer Bunny as opposed to my usual ~1/3 pep level. Miracle. Or, again, power of suggestion. I buy into things very easily.

2. I wish I were more of a health nut (and an exercise nut and a prayer nut and a discipline nut and a beauty regimen nut) than I actually am but Simon brought these home from Costco after reading, "Born to Run" in order to make the 'natural Redbull' (which he did and I found to be absolutely disgusting).

3. I saw that Haley had posted a Chia Seed Pudding recipe so I decided to turn to the Google and seek out the benefits of 'the Superfood of the Aztecs' and was overwhelmed by all of the magic the seed had the potential to perform. So I made and inhaled the pudding with more almond milk than the recipe calls for so that it might be in the more convenient sip form. It was/is delicious and I can't help but feel like a bonafide health almond whilst enjoying my new coffee/breakfast/seedslop.

4. And then I saw that Kate had posted about Chia Seed and I was absolutely sold. Kate teaches English at the college level and is therefore a genius and could never, ever steer me in any sort of not brilliant direkch.

5. A quick search of the Google will tell you that once emerged in any sort of liquid, the seeds will kind of 'gel' which sounds and is kind of gross. But once I school you in some of the benefits reaped by the gross gel, you will soon get over the consistency. I think. I hope.

6. Another quick search of the Google will tell you everything and more that I'm about to type. So, don't quote me .. quote your search engine.

7. And search!!! lose weight without starving (yes, please pesky postpartum clingers), balance blood sugar (don't mind if I do), feel more energized (check), bake with less fat (tried this with pizza crust and I wasn't a fan ... can't win them all), add age-defying antioxidants (surely), cut food cravings (won't believe till I see), glossier hair (don't care but won't fight it) and it is reportedly 'better' than the health king Flax seed.  Of course, there are many more but these are the ones that I was able to plagiarize fastest.

Happy Seeding.
Happy Healthy.
Happy Weekend.

Simon Emails

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16 February 2012

Link to this article:

*if you deduced from Simon's subject line that he also 'snubbed' his (nonviolent) valentine ... you might be right ... but she'd never tell.

**this post was approved by Simon (the maybe/alleged snubber) ... worry not.

Mayday on Vday

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15 February 2012

Julia, Sebastian, and I have all come down with a cold or the flu ... maybe a combo of the two: the clu. Julia's clu came complete with a smokers hack sidekick that is exacerbated by the ugly hours of the morning: 3:00, 4:00, and 5:32 which is odd because I was pretty sure I had found and confiscated all of her packs of Camel Lights but apparently not. Her nose is a prolific faucet that magically squirts a crustache onto her upper lip faster than I can say ... a string of bad words. Sebastian is just confused by his congestion but doesn't mind the blue bulb interrogations and I am donig jsut fnie wevaing in and out of a Dayquil then Nyquil then Dayquil again stupor. Raelly. I ma.

Enter Valentine's day. Clu be badworded, I decided I would pull out the small pistols and make a meal that didn't require my favorite function of the microwave: defrost.  Things were going to get fancy up in here with chicken rolled in crushed cornflakes, a tossed salad, sliced kiwi, and peanut butter infused (roll with it) cupcakes. I got as far is infusing the cupcakes with the disaster of a peanut butter mixture which had to be made with crushed cornflakes rather than graham cracker crumbs as I couldn't go to the store (we are currently a one car family as one of the cars is in the shop after a little tumble with a runaway tire left in the road until 'late next week' which in the language of truth actually means, 'Easter Monday' -- guarant AND I don't go to the store alone with tweedle cray and tweedle crazy -- too fun) when Julia threw her first of six temper tantrums that landed her in her first of six 12 second timeouts. Cold Schmold --  fever schmeaver -- vomit schmomit -- poor and obnoxious behavior is not tolerated by this understanding and loving mother.  Sebastian then started in on his version of a tantrum and since he hasn't quite reached the 4 month age of reason -- his poor behavior was reinforced by back to back episodes of Barney on the laptop while he lounged in the Bumbo (details on this highly effective discipline approach will be outlined in my upcoming book, "How to Parent Perfectly Always").

The picture of perfected motherhood and domesticity. 
Toddler watching Yo educational Gabba Gabba with three whole vehicles of hydration at her fingertips. 
Happy baby armed with blue bulb and cupcakes.
Talented photographer for a mother.

New paragraph for the frosting. I know there is a difference between granulated and powdered sugar but -- again -- no store for this hermita so I Googled myself into a disaster of a frosting that resembled brown cement -- or poop. Fortunately, the consistency lent to easy heart molding onto the top of the cakes. Success! And it was only 3:20. Simon is on a truly wonderful rotation this month that allows him to leave the hospital at 5:00. So nice. Of course enter the aye and the rub: there is always the outside chance that an unscheduled c-section will be scheduled (?) for sometime between 5:00 and 5:45  .. which Simon will have to do. Very fortunately, this has yet to happen. Until yesterday. Of course.

New paragraph for my mature response to the news. When Simon called to drop the happy bomb Sebastian was yodeling loudly about wanting to taste the poopcakes and so I had to get off the phone quickly ... because Sebastian was being loud ... not because I was mad ... and if I was mad it was because I was mad at the situation ... not at Simon. Of course. Because I am a logical lady. I always have been and I always will be.

I won't continue with the day's play by play because Julia is exhibiting nasty signs that she needs to go to bed at 4:19 in the afternoon (fine by me) but some bright spots of the holiday were that Julia learned how to proudly bring me a square inch of toilet paper to wipe her crustache with and I now have a whole lot of cornflake crusted chicken that I plan to top my heart-shaped pizza with tonight. Because apparently, according to almost every blog in the world, heart-shaped pizzas were the thing to make yesterday. Stupid Pinterest.  Leading me down the less traveled peanut butter infused cupcake path rather than the popular heart-shaped pizza path.

(and yes I realize my life is sheer bliss if my biggest complaint is a shortage of powdered sugar but sometimes I like a good vent of the typing variety - as you know all too well)

Simon Says

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14 February 2012

 Simon and a hairy Julia 
(a balmy) Valentines Day 2011

Regarding Sebastian's frequent, short, and annoying nighttime/early morning wake ups/freak outs Simon said,
 "he's going to ruin our lives with his hourly need for two sips of diva juice."

Also regarding a particularly annoying middle of the night freak out on the part of Sebastian, Simon said, 
"I'm pretty sure he's on cocaine."

When trying to figure out how to correctly order a Venti Soy Chai latte for our babysitter (we've stooped to the bribery level so that she continues to come herd our unruly calves) Simon asked, 
"how do you say it? bentay?!"

While watching the most recent zillion minute, action-packed episode of Downton Abbey and during a particular bedroom scene with Mr. Bates and Anna (formely known as Smith) Bates, 
"No. Is PBS going to show a Rumpus?!"

And later, during an affectionate scene with the maid and Lord Grantham, Simon said, 
"Stop it. Awkward Abbey."

On our way back from Florida after spending 85% of every rainy day in our hotel room Simon said, 
"it will be really nice to get home and not be within 10 feet of the kids at any given moment."

After I explained the plot of "The Vow", Simon said,
" ... "
(nothing and changed the subject)


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13 February 2012

1. praise be to the patron of second borns, Julia has gone to bed!
2. attempted and forced exercise in futility: rolling over before the Patton average of 6 months old
3. so many options here a. inappropriate b. tangible infant obesity c. cleavage d. bottom relocates to chest
4. why yes, I do hate my view and the taste of white shag carpet. Roll me back to number one. now.


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 As beautiful and moving as I find your singing to be Sebastian Adele Patton, if you wake Julia up from her nap you will be ousted from my good graces forever. 
And ever.
Thank you.

Conscience Freedom

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12 February 2012

If your Facebook feed has been anything like mine these past few days, the recent HHS mandate has been at the forefront of people's profiles by way of status updates, shares, and the occasional mud sling. The Archdiocese of Saint Louis produced this short, succinct, and brilliant clip ... please share, status update, and keep your mud to yourself. Smile.

ps unrelated but this is hysterical


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10 February 2012

 we were (obviously) having a modest (dress) family contest

It was a tough call but I think first place goes to Sebastian's thorax. Julia managed to bring home silver .. as that sliver of belly cost her the gold. Grace received an honorable mention for her faux hairbowl and non-awkward right hand placement and Simon came in dead last for being empty handed.
I believe this is our second family photo captured since Sebastian's arrival ... good thing it caught everyone's brightest sides.

And unrelated but (always) shareworthy: Julia is suffering through her first nonvomity illness (a small cold which may as well be the plague) which has turned her into a certifiable goop and our perfect driveway obsessed neighbors seem to have hired a 24/7 jackhammering crew to make sleep super attainable and pleasant. 

Happy Friday morning.

bathroom sweet bathroom

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09 February 2012

Welcome home photo ... serving the purposes of ...
1. Upping the number of photos on the blog taken in the bathroom from 999 to 1000
2. Illustrating Julia's newfound obsesh ... dragging her trifecta of fully nude babies ("deedees" - always advanced in the vocab department) around, feeding them neon hot dog bits rescued from her highchair and wiping their bottoms with dried out wipes. All things you vanted to know.
3. Simon kindly taking initiative and bathing Sebastian after his 68 feedings last night that resulted in a crib wetting and total outfit and body saturation.
4. Showing off the fact that Sebastian is (finally) back to his birth weight. What a little peanut.

*just keeping things clean. you're welcome.

Simon Says

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07 February 2012

While teaching Julia to identify parts of her body (toes, fingers, nose etc) Simon said, 
"And where is your body odor?"
(which she can now point out as her underarms ... thank you Simone)

While trying to get a quick minute of peace and quiet by sending Julia on an errand, Simon said, 
"Julia, can you go find Antarctica?"

After finding the family restroom locked and occupied by a single gentleman when both kids desperately needed diaper changes Simon said,  "I hate when single people camp out and stink up family restrooms!**"

After discussing whether or not we would watch The Bachelor in real time on the hotel room cable Simon said, "You go ahead ... I'll just be reading my edifying book while sitting on my high horse."

When referring to the rose ceremony on The Bachelor Simon said,
"flower party."

**paraphrased and censored

Guest Post: Sheila on Event Planning

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06 February 2012

Please welcome the darling Sheila as she graciously pops over from her blog, The FailteHouse, and writes about two worlds that are completely foreign to me: event planning and Las Vegas.
 I'm sure I'm in good company when I say that I am a little to a lot e-n-v-i-o-u-s of Sheila's island living locale

but we'll move onward and upward to the goods
Hi!  I am so excited to be over here posting on Camp Patton!  Her witty writing and hilarious pictures make her one of my favorite morning coffee reads!

When Gracie offered me the opportunity to guest post, I was thrilled.  But what to write about?  How about somethings I don't talk about on my blog - my job in event planning.  Considering I just got back from Vegas last night, it's information fresh of the press and just for you :)

Here are some Don'ts and Do's if you happen to be event planning in Vegas:

1. Don't wear heels, trust me.  You might look like a professional powerhouse for the first 8 hours, but if you think hobbling around the large hotels and casino floors with a foot full of blisters is classy for the last 72 hours, think again. 

2. Don't stare at your phone and try to answer all emails flying inbound, while running from point A to point B. A couple things could happen:
A) You run into elderly people who click their tongues at you as you walk by and you might hear them complain about how the young are so rude these days...  OR B) You could magically weave in and out of all the young and old who are mindlessly meandering the casino floor as you reply to emails at lightening speed, but run into inanimate objects...awkward.

3. Don't assume a restaurant is classy because it has a nice name. You might just go inside and wonder if the lovely waitresses forgot to don their shorts for the day.  This might not be good for clients....

4. Don't order a limo to spare 14 people from walking .2 miles, it will be the most expensive memory purchased :)

1. Do watch a Vegas show, if you are lucky enough to spare a minute from work and especially if you are there for fun!!!  (I was blessed to watch my first show, Le Reve, and was beyond amazed).

2. Do carry your computer, power chord, phone charger, back up phone charger, paper, pen, map, lighter, snacks, and 10 itineraries at all times. Vegas hotels and conference spaces are huge! You do not want to walk 2 miles back across the conference, down the windy hallways, up 3 elevators and down 3 more hallways - to get something your forgot. 

3.  Do create relationships with all the helpful hotel staff, believe me your job will get so much easier!

4. Do dress for success :)

5. And do make sure you eat at least one solid meal a day. Event planning can get hectic and it is easy to forget to eat. Who wants to stand in line waiting for food, shaking and feeling you might pass out if the kind waitress does not get you saltines to hold you over until your food 5 minutes. {That may or may not have happened ;) }

Well I hope those tips and tricks for event planning in Vegas were enlightening - or simply entertaining :)
I hope to see you at The FailteHouse soon, where we talk about island living and fulfilling your dreams!


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rain go away. Sebastian wants to play ... in his (ankle length) swim pants.

While we wait for the tropical storm to pass (because it will definitely be passing) we had the pleasure of listening to Julia revisit the always delightful cry it out ropes. Which at her age is really blood curdling scream it out of course. I would feel bad for the Canadians that were subjected to the scream soundtrack in the room to our right but they were up carousing over their box of White Zin into the wee hours of the nigh. Payback is a beach.

Also postworthy ..

Julia was relegated to a remedial corner yesterday at the hotel's continental breakfast.  A 14 month old female with long and curly pigtails not only showed off her ability to correctly and efficiently use a fork to eat ... making us feel like barbarians for condoning Julia's use of her hands to eat ... but also signaled that she needed to 'use the restroom' to her mother. The proud mom whisked pigtails off to the bathroom while the dad explained to our furrowed brows and gaping mouths that they were 'thinking about a second child and couldn't imagine having two in diapers'. Same here.

On a serious family mission to hunt and gather a 'healthy meal' after eating all of Julia's travel bribery food (fruit snacks, generic licorice that was gross but I still devoured, peanut butter crackers, and a lot more fruit snacks) all day .. somehow we managed to return to the hotel last night (twice .. the first time after I directed Simon to the green dot on my phone which marked our point of origin .. the hotel parking lot .. I found it slightly more comical than our driver did) with a package of peanut butter Oreos and Wendy's. At least the cola was diet and the fries were freshly cut ... basically guiltless.

I Spy

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05 February 2012

a sleeping Julia. Under Simon's creative hotel room crib shroud.


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04 February 2012

I woke up 36 minutes after the time I had set my alarm for and four minutes before we absolutely had had had to be in the car and headed for the airport this morning ... which is why I look so pretty with my stringy hair and the rest of my (not pictured - you're welcome) outfit consists of about 12 different colors, damp pants, and Simon's socks.  Julia is at such a horrible age for traveling but she still managed to earn a B- for both flights while Sebastian is the perfect age for jet setting as he just nuzzles into his former food sources and sleeps for 17.3 hours straight.

Highlights of the flights...

A man decked in a velour Mizzou tracksuit sitting in my seat pitched an adult temper tantrum when I showed up at the last minute with my carpet bag and baby on my person and awkwardly asked, 'if that was seat 35E?' with the offering of my boarding pass reading, '35E'. Luckily the flight attendant saved the day and my redhotembarrassed face as she redirected tracksuit and his wife to 'an empty row' far, far, far away from me and devil Sebastian.
A kind lady reached over and buckled my seat belt for me on the next flight (unsolicited and awkward but nice) but immmmediately slathered on an entire mini bottle of hand sanitizer. I was so conflicted ... to be grateful or insulted?

(pictured above) Julia stopping dead in her tiny tracks to read (stare at) a book as we boarded a flight. We were going nowhere slowly so I was grateful for the two minutes that she managed to self-entertain.

Thanks to some flight vouchers (courtesy of a nightmare of an odyssey with Delta in May) and a trustworthy internet site hotel rate special ... we're enjoying a leeeedle family vaca in a sunny locale. We will have the absolute pleasure of seeing Calah and Jessica tomorrow. Don't be j.

And now back to hotel room cable television and grocery store sushi. Two of my faves.



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